Heat to retire Udonis Haslem’s No. 40 on Jan. 19

Udonis Haslem Heat
Udonis Haslem spent 20 seasons with the Heat organization. (Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports)

Miami Heat lifer Udonis Haslem, who spent all 20 of his seasons with the organization, will have his No. 40 retired by the team on Jan. 19 against the Atlanta Hawks, the team announced Friday.

Haslem, who went undrafted in the 2003 draft, appeared in 879 career games–including 501 starts–with the Heat. He finished as the franchise’s all-time leading rebounder, corralling 5,791 rebounds, 984 than the next-most in Heat history (Alonzo Mourning–4,807).

“It’s about a great legacy,” Riley said in a statement. “A thank you moment that has been earned over 20 years of being an incredible championship player and most importantly, the best leader. He’s going to have his day and I can’t wait to see his jersey hang in the rafters.”

He joins Shaquille O’Neal, Alonzo Mourning Tim Hardaway, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade as the only players to have their jersey retired by the organization.

Haslem, 43, averaged 7.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game over his 20-year career, shooting 48.9 percent from the floor and 75.6 percent from the free-throw line. He was integral in the Miami Heat’s only three championships in 2006, 2012 and 2013, and has impacted the organization way beyond his on-court production.

The 6-foot-8 big was one of three NBA players to only wear one uniform for 20-plus seasons–the other two being Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks) and the late Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers).

The Heat hired Haslem as the team’s Vice President of Basketball Development last month, as he will be working with both the Sioux Falls Skyforce (G-League affiliate) and Miami to assist with player development. The former Heat captain is expected to mentor myriad (young) personalities throughout the organization, just like he did as a player.


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